To visit Swakopmund and not try German cuisine is like visiting Egypt and looking the other way when you get to the pyramids. These three German restaurants are tops.
The Brauhaus is a typical German hangout that has been around for years. Despite a fire in 2010, it bounced back quickly. It’s a casual spot where you can have lunch or dinner, or just a draught beer.
Try the venison steak (R135), pan-fried kingklip with parsley potatoes, salad and lemon butter sauce (R125) or the Steak Madame (R105) – a small beef fillet with rösti (fried shredded-potato cake) and steamed asparagus drenched in butter. And save space for apfelstrudel with custard (R50) – I reckon they’re hiding a German granny in the kitchen who makes it just right.
The Brauhaus is popular with tourists and locals alike so book in advance. Where? In the Arcade, Sam Nujoma Avenue GPS: S22.67789 E14.52568 Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10 am – 2.30 pm and 5 pm – 9.30 pm. Closed on Sundays. Contact: 00 264 64 402 214;
Kücki’s Pub, Swakopmund
This restaurant is more than a mere “pub”. It does have two bars, but Kücki’s (which has been around since 1981) is also a great place for dinner.
The original owner Kücki (Wolfgang) Kuhhirt might have moved shop to the Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge (next to the C14 to Solitaire) years ago, but his choice of decor means he won’t be forgotten anytime soon. There’s a piece of his J400 Jabiru aeroplane inside the restaurant – a reminder of a 2009 accident that saw Kücki crash-land on a golf course during a thunderstorm. “Ja, I’ve always wanted to hit a hole in one,” he told me.
The Germans like their meat and the portions at Kücki’s are massive. How does a 500 g garlic steak for R148 sound? Not big enough? Then sink your carnivore teeth into a 1 kg steak (R270) and say hello to the meat sweats.
They also have schnitzel (from R94), roasted pork with red cabbage (R113) and pork ribs (R112), eisbein and sauerkraut (R117), swordfish with lemon butter (R118), tuna steak with roasted veggies (R102) and pan-fried kabeljou (R106). A portion of fresh Swakopmund asparagus (R84) for the table, served with parsley potatoes, is always a good idea.
Kücki’s has a good wine list with wines from many well-known South African cellars. Where? 22 Tobias Hainyeko Avenue GPS: S22.67988 E14.52538 Opening times: Daily from 5 pm to 9.30 pm (the kitchen closes then but the bar stays open…) Contact: 00 264 64 402 407; kuckispub.com
Willi Probst Bakery and restaurant, Walvis Bay
This bakery is part of many people’s daily routine. You’ll see the waitress take the man with the newspaper a coffee with cream without him having to ask. A group of Portuguese women show up at 10 am every day to chat around “their” table.
“We don’t play music so people can talk to each other,” says owner Astrid Deetlefs. Astrid’s grandparents started the bakery in 1957. “In those days
“We don’t play music so people can talk to each other,” says Astrid Deetlefs, owner of the Willi Probst Bakery.
there were lots of independent bakeries in Walvis Bay. My grandfather Willi brought his recipe for wholewheat bread from Germany. But soon all the bakeries merged to satisfy the bread demand of the town’s residents and the navy. In the 1980s the first supermarkets opened and each had its own bakery. They put the independent bakeries out of business.”
Fortunately the Probst family’s bakery survived – thanks mostly to the restaurant part of the business. Grandpa Willi’s bread is still baked here, plus French baguettes and other rolls.
During lunch hour, office workers come in for fried liver and onions, a kassler chop or two, stroganoff with noodles, or bratwurst and potato salad. They also sell German sausages, 10 kinds of omelette, and coffee with marshmallows.
The bakery’s variety of brötchen – open bread rolls with delicious toppings (see pic, right) – is legendary. There are 78 to choose from! Try the brötchen with rauchfleisch (smoked beef ) and a hard-boiled egg or a few rings of raw onion.
I ask Astrid how many eggs she uses per month? She makes a few rough calculations: “R30 000 worth of eggs. And about 600 kg of flour per week. We bake 2 500 brötchen a day!” Where? Corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and 12th Road GPS: S22.95641 E14.50470 Opening times: Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 5.45 pm; Saturday from 6.30 am to 2 pm. Closed on Sundays. Contact: 00 264 64 202 744;